Holidays are a time for relaxation, adventure, and bonding with the family – the last thing you want is to catch a life-threatening disease like Japanese encephalitis (JE), malaria, or dengue fever.
If you are travelling in countries like Asia or the western Pacific, your chances of getting infected with these diseases increase dramatically depending on where and when you go.
Japanese encephalitis is an illness that attacks the brain while dengue fever and malaria cause flu-like symptoms – all three can be fatal (in the most severe cases).
The smartest way to prevent JE is to visit a travel clinic at Anna Pharmacy to meet with one of our travel health specialists. They are experts in global diseases and can advise you on whether you need the Japanese encephalitis vaccination or other medication for your travel destination. They can also provide practical advice about how to stay healthy while travelling.
If you’ll be travelling to high-risk countries such as the Western Pacific or Asia, you can take simple and preventative steps to reduce your risk of catching JE. Here’s everything you need to know about Japanese encephalitis.
What is Japanese encephalitis?
Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes and is largely found in the western Pacific and Asia. This potentially deadly viral infection is one of the leading causes of viral encephalitis (brain inflammation) in these areas.
The Role of Mosquitoes in Spreading Japanese Encephalitis
Mosquitos first get infected by feeding on wild birds and domestic pigs that have the JE viral infection. Then mosquitos transmit the virus to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Only infected mosquitos can transmit JE to humans, birds and other animals cannot.
Mosquitos live primarily in rural and agricultural areas where there are standing pools of water, such as rice fields, ponds, or lakes. JE is typically transmitted during the warm and rainy season in temperate areas of Asia.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
Aside from getting the Japanese encephalitis vaccination in Sutton, Wallington, Hackbridge, or Croydon at Anna Pharmacy, your best defence against the virus is to avoid mosquito bites.
Preventive steps to avoid mosquito bites:
· Use a fan when inside.
· Put screens on doors and windows.
· Stay inside at dusk.
· Use mosquito repellent (DEET).
· Use a mosquito net.
· Wear long, tightly woven clothing with light-colours.
· Avoid areas where there is standing water.
If you do get symptoms, they usually begin around one to two weeks after you were bitten.
Common symptoms include:
● High fever
● Neck stiffness
● Spasms and stiff muscles
Currently, there is no cure for this viral infection, only treatment to relieve its symptoms. Prevention is really the best form of treatment for this disease.
Make sure to schedule your consultation with our travel clinic to find out more about Japanese encephalitis vaccination in Wallington, Sutton, Hackbridge, Croydon, or any of our other Anna Pharmacy branches in South London.